bloodletting (plural bloodlettings)
- (historical, medicine) The archaic practice of treating illness by removing some blood, believed to be tainted, from the stricken person.
- 1833, R. J. Bertin, Charles W. Chauncy, transl., Treatise on the Diseases of the Heart, and Great Vessels, Philadelphia: Carey, Lea & Blnachard, page 207:
- The pungent pain, dyspnœa, cephalalgia, redness of the face, pulsations of the heart, strong and rapid, the pulse full and vibrating, induced M. Peyrade, then attached to that hospital, to practise blood-letting in the arm. It was followed with marked relief.
- Synonym: bleeding
- (by extension) The diminishment of any resource with the hope that this will lead to a positive effect.
- Yet another round of corporate bloodletting.
- A circumstance, such as a battle, where a large amount of blood is likely to be spilled through violence.
ancient medical practice
large amount of blood likely to be spilled through violence